Here, There and Everywhere is the first of two albums recorded by Sigmund Groven and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra (KORK). The 15-track album presents several classics by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, such as Eleanor Rigby and Yesterday, but also Groven originals, film soundtracks, and the first ever recording of three original George Martin tunes, originally performed by Tommy Reilly. All tracks arranged for harmonica and orchestra, conducted by John Wilson.
In other words, Sigmund Groven has again played with the format of harmonica music, like he did before with countless collaborations, soundtracks or conceptual themes. While the track selection on Here, There and Everywhere caters to the taste for popular music among the listeners, the album bridges the gap between popular music and classical music smoothlessly, while adding the distinct Groven touch. The idea is not really to innovate and a mix like this has been heard before, and Groven himself is not a stranger to orchestral arrangements, but this is the first time we hear Groven’s music and interpretations in a large scale symphonic presentation on CD.
And what a beautiful musical journey it is! From the mellow and soothing Yesterday to the powerful and mighty Nordic Night, which has never sounded better. Down Under, and to a certain extent Theme from The Sundowners, both Tiomkin pieces from the film The Sundowners, break the somewhat “serious” mood halfway through the album and provides a lighter, less symphonic sonic image as a breather, but most of the time the orchestral arrangements co-exist with Sigmund’s harmonica in a very pleasant way. A Groven original, Gloria, is a fun and beautiful piece with it’s trumpet “second voice” integrated with the orchestra and harmonica. Not surprisingly is Norwegian Wood included, with a mainly jazzy arrangement that I personally find to be interesting, but not in a true “symphonic style”. Variation is always good, but I would rather have heard this track arranged like the mid-section is; in a classical style with dominating strings.
Here, There and Everywhere continues the solid Sigmund Groven tradition of popular music arranged with the harmonica as solo instrument, but spices itself up in terms of well known pop songs, plus the perfect sounding Norwegian Radio Orchestra as support and frame. An album not to be missed!
Musicians and key contributors: Sigmund Groven (harmonica), John Wilson (conductor), Harald Aadland (concert master), Pete Knutsen (producer), Jon Wien Sønstebø (viola solo), Ingrid Udda (vocal solo), Anne Vada (soprano), George Martin (selected arrangements).
Review by Glenn Folkvord.